Introduction by Michael Heyward
The streets of Paris are full of celebrities and media, and out at the stadium the crowds are already huge as players pound the practice courts in preparation for the greatest tournament of the modern era…From all corners they’ve come, the stars of the modern game. What a line-up!
The most unusual tennis tournament in history is about to start. Einstein’s seeded fourth. Chaplin, Freud and van Gogh are also in the top rankings. World number one is Tony Chekhov. In all, 128 of the world’s most creative players—everyone from Louis Armstrong to George Orwell, Gertrude Stein to Coco Chanel—are going to fight it out until the exhilarating final on centre court.
First published in 2002, John Clarke’s The Tournament is a brilliant, bizarre comic novel. This new Text Classics edition features an introduction by Michael Heyward.
‘What Peter Ustinov once did for Grand Prix motor racing, The Tournament does for tennis and world culture combined.’
‘A brilliant invention from a national treasure.’
‘Game, set, match and championship: J. Clarke.’
‘Ingenious flair for encapsulating a writer, artist or thinker in a few sentences…A funny, clever book.’
‘A genius-touched tour de farce…A wondrously comic tumult of personalities, anachronisms, jokes.’
‘An affable book full of the hubbub and potential hilarity of high and other culture translated to the domain where things get serious: sport.’